If you ask most adults with ADHD what their house looks like, the majority would probably answer, "Cluttered" Some might say there is so much clutter that they have forgotten what is underneath all the clutter. Disorganization comes along with ADHD. But there are ways you can decrease (eliminating entirely is probably not a realistic option) the amount of clutter you have in your house. Try the following ideas to see what works for your household.
Make a Donation Box
Donate your "stuff" on a regular basis. Create an area in your house (preferably one that is out of the way and yet still easily accessible, such as the hallway closet). Put a large box on the floor and make this your donation area. Whenever you come across clothing that no longer fits (if you have children this probably occurs on a daily basis), put it in the box. As you are straightening up your house, be on the lookout for items you no longer need or use and toss those items in the box. A general rule of thumb might be if the item hasn’t been used in a year, you don’t need it anymore. Include your partner and children in the process. Have them toss clothes, coats, or toys that are no longer useful or have been outgrown.
When the box is full, take it to a local thrift shop. Some might prefer to take the box, no matter how many items are in it, on the 1st of every month instead of waiting for it to get filled. Do what works for you. As you continue to do this, you might start looking at your clutter differently - instead of not knowing what to do with it, you can see it as items that you can donate. Besides getting rid of your clutter, you are helping others.
Set Up a "It Belongs in Another Room" Box
At the entry way to each room, place a box or basket. When going through the room, pick up items that belong somewhere else, for example, your child’s toys, which belong in his room, are on the living room floor. Put them in the "it belongs in another room" box. At the end of the day, go through the box and distribute items to the proper rooms. You can delegate this task as your child’s chore after dinner each night or use it when you need to get up and move around. You can simplify the system by having only two baskets - one for items that need to go upstairs and one for items that need to go downstairs. Even if you don’t empty the box every night, the clutter around your room is reduced to only those items that belong in that room.
Create a "Maybe I Will Keep It" Area
Use a drawer or a cabinet to keep those items you aren’t sure whether to keep or toss. You might be tempted to keep every greeting card, souvenir, assorted screws or piece of mail. Put anything you aren’t sure about in a specific area. Once the area is full, go through and sort the items. Keep what you want and throw away everything else.
Ask a Friend to Help
Someone outside your family might have a more discerning eye when it comes to the clutter around your house and help you decide what should be thrown away. Ask a friend to help you go through your house and get rid of the clutter. Make sure you choose someone who isn’t going to judge your housekeeping or your hoarding instincts. Plan to get together a couple times a year and sort your clutter into "throw away," "donate" or "keep" piles. Make sure you end your day with a trip to the local thrift store to donate items and put the discard items in the trash before you change your mind.
You might have other ways to help you control the clutter in your house. The best methods are those that you will keep up with and help you consistently keep your clutter to a minimum.
Eileen Bailey is a freelance health writer. She is the author of What Went Right: Reframe Your Thinking for a Happier Now, Idiot’s Guide to Adult ADHD, Idiot’s Guide to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Essential Guide to Overcoming Obsessive Love, and Essential Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome. She can be found on Twitter @eileenmbailey and on Facebook at eileenmbailey.